I was so busy with work for the last two weeks that I was in China, I did not have time to blog much. All the meetings went very well (much better than my trans-Pacific flight with much too much turbulence).

In Hong Kong, I visited with our Vermont Law student interning at WWF-HK. She is getting a lot of great work and I confirmed that the internship can exist annually for a Vermont Law student within the NGO’s climate programme team. While in HK we also began to build relationships with the US Consulate, Hong Kong America Center and Chinese University of Hong Kong where a Vermont Law grad is their environmental law professor. We’re exploring more internships for our students and whether our HK ties can provide a link to our environmental governance work in Mainland China.

In Guangzhou I met with our partners at Sun Yat-sen University who are doing exciting work to develop a prototype carbon trading system in Guangdong, in addition to meeting the environmental officers at the US Consulate in GZ.

In Beijing we experienced very heavy air pollution. While there I had a meeting at the new US Embassy with many government agencies, focusing on the work of USAid and its China programs. My colleague and I gave a presentation on the work of our U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law. While in Beijing we also met with officials from the Chinese Ministry on Environmental Protection, looking for ways to collaborate. We also met with partners from the Chinese University of Politics a nd Law. They have been asked to provide the Chinese government with guidance on developing China’s climate legislation, and Vermont Law School hopes to create team of faculty experts to further this cause.

On Wednesday in Beijing I signed my first international agreement! In a formal ceremony, I signed a student exchange agreement between Vermont Law School and Renmin University of China School of Law….more details forthcoming.

Finally, what was amazing about the trip is how many Chinese students and scholars that were in residency at Vermont Law School are now in high level judicial and environmental administration positions in China. Given that the US and China are the largest carbon, energy, and auto markets in the world, I’m thrilled to see Vermont Law School train the environmental policymakers in both countries which will lead to long term cooperation and mutual benefits for both counties.